Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Read what the experts at Practical Motorhome think of the Auto-Sleeper Trooper Low Line

Design

The Trooper is heavily branded, proudly displaying its name as well as what we consider to be some rather unnecessary, stripey decals upon its optional metallic paint. It has an electrically-operated elevating roofs – great for anyone who is not able to lift a traditional style pop-top. One flick of its switch and the roof lifts effortlessly in about ten seconds.
While it worked well on test, it remains unclear how well an electric roof will fare over time. There is less to go wrong with gas-strut roofs, so buyers must decide whether they want simple, long-lasting struts or effortless electronic alternatives.
The original roof has been sliced off and the elevating section at the rear of the ’van has been hinged. This makes for plenty of headroom in the front of the ’van, but also means that you can’t walk to the rear, even if the sliding bench seats have been removed. When sitting on the bench seats, the headroom is good, even for a six-footer.
The Trooper has just one zippered window because it doesn’t have a roof bed (rivals with upper beds often have more). The sides of the folding roof are made from grey fabric, but it would have been better to have used a darker material to cut out unwanted morning light.
There are strip lights in the main living area for decent night-time visibility.
The Trooper retains a traditional British interior design that has changed little from previous versions. Brown and beige dominate, as does dark wood. The dark colours are a matter of taste, but they will hide knocks and spillages over the years.
There's also a removable carpet and silver-backed blinds on every window. They block out light well, but their plastic casings feel flimsy and are liable to rattle.

On the road

How motorhomes like this drive is a major consideration for the buyer because they are often used as everyday vehicles in addition to being tourers. The Trooper sprints off the blocks thanks to a punchy 130bhp 2.5-litre turbo-diesel engine linked to a six-speed transmission, which effortlessly achieves, and maintains, motorway speeds.
The cab has a good level of specification - you’ll find twin, captain’s swivel chairs, a stereo unit and plenty of storage space. The Trooper has wood -effect panelling that shows care has been taken over the look of the cab, even if it isn’t to your taste, as well as fixed cab carpets. These make the ’van feel warmer, but they are not easy to clean.
You also get heated seats, and twin front and side airbags as standard. You also get a fancy range of cost options such as a six-CD changer and built-in satellite navigation.

Lounging & dining

The offside galley kitchen arrangement is still popular in elevating campers but the arrangement often means that the driver’s seat will not swivel. However, both seats in the cab swivel to allow lounge seating for five people.
The lounge in the Trooper feels less sociable than some competitors' because its seats feel too far apart. However, the deep are comfortable thanks to their shaped backs and bases.
Dining options are flexible – you get two tables, although this is a necessity because the seats are so far apart. One sturdy table slots into the floor in front of the sofa, and stows below it, but there’s also a small swing-out table that can only be reached by the cab passenger. It means just three people can dine, but that's not too big a problem in the two-berth Trooper.
Heating is provided from a diesel-powered blown-air system that comes as standard.

Kitchen

The Trooper has a two-burner hob, stainless steel sinks and strong, glass lid. You did read correctly there – we did say sinks. There's an extra draining sink for, say, rinsing vegetables, and it's very useful. There's also a fridge with a freezer compartment, although it can be a bit noisy at night. Finally, there's a 12V and a mains socket. Worksurface is limited to just one small section, but that's par for the course in campers like this.
Auto-Sleeper clearly knows the importance of the kitchen to British buyers and so provides a cutlery drawer on runners, a grill under the hob and a four-person crockery set that includes a set of china plates, bowls and cups, all firmly secured in their moulded plastic unit by Velcro straps.

Sleeping

Making up the bed is a cinch because the sofa drops easily. The Trooper’s bed is made up with the cushions from the front of the bench seat. They are shaped for comfortable seating, but make for a lumpy bed – it’s a cause for concern if you’re planning long-term touring, because this bed is your only choice, unless you opt for the £315 roofline bed.

Washroom

N/A

Storage

Considering the overall size of this short-wheelbase campers, the amount of storage space is impressive.
The boot holds the gas locker, which frees up room in the kitchen for its plethora of cupboards. There are five in total – one of which houses the Porta Potti – as well as a wardrobe.
Space elsewhere is less impressive, because the drawer beneath the sofa is filled by the dining table and the space in the boot is compromised by a section of the assembled bed.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3000kg
Payload599kg
Length4.99m16′4″
Width2.05m6′9″
Height2.17m7′1″
Waste water60L
Kitchen Equipment
2-burner gas hob, Separate grill
Washroom
Porta potti
Heating
Eberspacher space heater

Verdict

Auto-Sleeper’s Trooper still appeals to traditional buyers, especially couples, but it has not evolved sufficiently from previous incarnations to stand out from its rivals such as the Reimo Triostyle, Torbay Fusion or Volkswagen California.

Conclusion

Pros

  • High specification kitchen and electric roof
  • Long-lasting interior.

Cons

  • Bumpy bed and drab interior
  • No roof bed, so only suitable for couples.
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